KATHMANDU, July 22: In a bid to bring its messed-up academic calendar back on track, Tribhuvan University (TU) is now introducing a slew of new measures.
TU officials are expecting to be able to start publishing examination results within six months of exams starting from this academic session by strengthening the regional offices of the Office of Controller of Examinations (OCE) and adopting a semester system at the masters degree level.
“Strengthening the regional offices of the OCE and adopting a semester system at masters level, among many other measures, will help us bring the calendar back on track,” says Chandra Mani Poudel, registrar of TU. “If everything goes as planned, we will start publishing exam results within four months of the exams from next year.”
As part of the strengthening of OCE regional offices, TU has decided to provide more manpower and vehicles, among other logistics support. “At the outset, we will recruit at least three tech-savvy staffers for each of the three regional offices of the OCE,” says Poudel. “We have already published a tender notice for procuring more vehicles.”
According to Poudel, TU has already introduced a semester system for the mathematics masters degree. “The semester system is on the cards for more subjects such as microbiology and statistics,” he said. “Our plan is to change the whole degree course into a semester system by next year.” TU´s academic council has already taken a decision to this effect.
TU´s academic calendar, which was initially messed up due to student union strikes that led to postponement of one exam after another, further plunged into shambles owing to the OCE´s inability to collect the answer copies, have them checked and publish the results on time. Students today have to wait as long as four years to complete a two-year course because neither the exams nor the results are as per the calendar.
After assuming the post of vice-chancellor at the country´s oldest university, Hira Bahadur Maharjan had singled out mending of the calendar as his foremost task. However, it has taken TU officials led by Maharjan almost one year to introduce the new measures to overcome what they saw as a mammoth challenge.
However, Bhim Raj Adhikari, former registrar of TU, is wary of the measures aimed at correcting the academic calendar. “Nothing is going to work as long as TU fails to get rid of inaction on the part of its staff,” he says. “There are already more than enough staff at TU. Adding a few more staff will not help at all.”
Adhikari adds, “When I was TU registrar, I tried to transfer some staffers to get work done quickly. But some of them did not heed my order. They simply defied me. I could not take any action as they were affiliated to the trade unions. Under this condition, it is hard to mend the calendar.”